In our new article series, we introduce the most exciting venture capital firms that are open for LP investments to our family office network. The article belongs to our exclusive single-family office guidebook, where we give guidance on the most relevant topics for newly established and already existing family investment vehicles.
In this article, we talked to Mustard Seed MAZE, a Lisbon-based impact VC that invests in seed and early-stage rounds to partner with companies that value social impact as much as profitability. If you believe economic profit must be equal to social profit, keep reading!
Familyofficehub.io (FO): Briefly describe your focus: in which kind of startups are you investing, where is your geographical focus, what’s your average ticket size?
Mustard Seed Maze (MSM): We are a joint venture between Mustard Seed and MAZE and we identify ourselves as a pan-European impact VC firm that invests in bold entrepreneurs that create sustainable businesses to solve the greatest social and environmental challenges of our time. Based in Lisbon and London, and with almost €100M under management, we have invested in European-based startups such as Platypus, Student Finance, and many others.
We invest from early-stage to seed with an average investment size between €500k and €1m.
FO: What are exciting companies in your portfolio – and why?
MSM: It is hard to pick!
Winnow has done a lot to reduce food waste globally. It is now operating in 17 countries and is saving food worth thousands of meals every day.
What3Words is a geolocation tool used by hundreds of logistics operators making previously unaddressed parts of the world, particularly in poorer areas, far more accessible.
Knok is providing telemedicine services in Europe, Brazil, and India, with thousands of consultations in process.
We are also excited about how Omocom and Rnters are contributing to the circular economy revolution. Last but not least, we have great hopes for Careship, which we see as an important solution in elderly care and companionship, where there is a great deal of isolation and neglect right now.
FO: Why should a family office invest in MSM as LP?
MSM: A family office should invest in MSM to profit from a global trend that can be summarized in our investment thesis: we believe that impact is the greatest economic opportunity of our time, since:
1. The 17 UN SDGs can be estimated to cost the global economy in excess of $10T. Global problems are also global opportunities for change.
2. Millenials are increasingly conscious of how they spend their money and their time: they prefer purpose-driven companies to work for, they are willing to pay more for sustainable products and services and they are conscious about their investment decisions.
Therefore, we anticipate that the great businesses of the future are those that profit from solving social and environmental challenges. At MSM, we only invest in business models where the driver of revenue is the same as the driver of impact. We call this ‘lockstep’.
FO: Are you also open to investments from European family offices?
MSM: Sure! We would like to welcome European family offices aboard.
FO: Thanks for your time!
Headquarters: Lisbon, Portugal
Website: Mustard Seed MAZE